What to do with unwanted Christmas Gifts

Customer Information | 06.01.17

One of the most regular questions we get asked when people use us for household storage is what can they do with the things they no longer want or need. The obvious answer is to donate it to charity, providing of course, that’s in a good enough condition to be passed on. Often that’s the route they take, but it all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into getting rid of things.

You can always sell things on yourself, but you have to be prepared to take the time to advertise your goods and depending on where and how you sell them there will be a cost; it may be time or money, but there will be a cost. If you have a friend or relative that could benefit think about passing things on there. Then there’s the charity option. Charities rely on donations to run, whether it’s a financial donation or goods that can be sold in their shops. And don’t forget those places that may not be charities but could benefit. Local playgroups and community groups that may not be registered charities can often benefit from donations.

“So where do Christmas gifts fit in?”  I hear you ask. Well, every year, thousands of people across the country receive gifts that perhaps they won’t use. Clothes, ornaments and toiletries are the most common. It’s not that you’re ungrateful, and you appreciate the thought but realistically, you’re just not going to use those things. How many of us have baskets and bottles of unopened toiletries that have been given as gifts, but sit there on the bathroom shelf because for whatever reason, we don’t want to or can’t use them? It’s very common for females to receive multiple presents that are made up of ‘smellies’ because someone is unsure of what to buy.

Some people may consider re-gifting things on to other people; re-wrapping and passing it on as a birthday gift. Sometimes there’s the odd thing that has to be kept and put on display when someone visits, but more often than not, these items get stuffed into the back of a drawer or cupboard, never to be seen again. They are just more things to take up space in an already crowded place. So rather than keeping them for years and cluttering up your cupboards, why not see if someone else can make good use of them now?

Charities and good causes could benefit from your unwanted Christmas gifts. Larger charities which have shops are normally the first consideration for most people but there many good causes out there that could use some help. For instance, did you know that food banks that are crying out for donations of toiletries? Most people think food banks provide only food but they help provide the basics to families who are struggling, and toiletries like shower gel and soap are just as important as food. Charities that help the homeless are extremely grateful for items of clothing and toiletries that can be handed out. Women’s refuges and shelter organisations are often faced with women and children on their doorstep that have nothing but the clothes they stand up in. When this happens they have to quickly put together those essential items that might be needed.

So before you push those unwanted gifts to the back of the cupboard, spare a thought as to whether they could be doing some good elsewhere.

If you find yourself moving house or having to put things in and out of self storage and decide have a clear out at the same time, remember to consider the charities. For most, your goods need to be in good condition, but there is the odd charity like Restored Furniture, who is part of BetelUK who will take your old furniture and restore it before selling it on.

Most people have heard of some of the larger charities like Cancer Research, Mind, British Heart Foundation, PDSA, Emmaus, but if you prefer for your goods to go to smaller charities and causes there are a few useful links for some Gloucestershire charities below.
Gloucester City Mission – Help for the homeless
GARAS – Help for refugees
Gloucestershire Bundles – Emergency help for women and children in crisis
Carers Gloucestershire – Providing support for unpaid carers
Cheltenham Open Door – Providing relief from poverty
Stroud District Furniture Bank – Furniture at extremely low prices to those in need

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